Marshall arts sink Wales
Wales 0 New Zealand 36
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Sunday 06 November 2011
The Kiwis narrowly failed to beat Wales as emphatically as England had last week, thanks to a brave second-half showing from the Welsh in the first match of the Wembley double-header. When New Zealand led 26-0 at half-time, England's 42-4 win looked certain to be eclipsed, but Iestyn Harris's men did well to restrict them to only two tries after the break.
Sika Manu and Gerard Beale claimed two tries apiece, but the Kiwis' architect was Benji Marshall, who tormented the Welsh with the range and imagination of his passing and kicking.
Not everything about Wales was bad. Lee Briers tried his full bag of tricks without much help from the bounce of the ball, Craig Kopczak again caught the eye with his muscular driving and tackling and Elliot Kear was brave and elusive.
The Welsh conceded early tries to Jason Nightingale and Kevin Locke. Manu's brace and a first for Beale threatened a Kiwi rampage after the interval, but it took until the 62nd minute before Beale crossed the line. Nathan Fien added a final try.
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